Customer: Point of Use Display Manufacturer, NJ
Industry: Food and Beverage

Serving Safe Chicken: Meeting FDA Requirements for Safe Food Holding Temperatures

How much heat does it take to keep food safe for consumption? Sigma used its advanced engineering skills to answer this question. A New Jersey-based company asked Sigma to analyze their warming tray prototype by performing a heat power analysis and thermal FEA on the heater element and control circuit.

The tray is designed to keep rotisserie chickens at a safe internal temperature of 140°F and breakfast sandwiches at a slightly lower temperature, determined by a high and low setting that is set by an operator’s switch.

Step one was to determine the steady state heat power requirements to keep the chicken at temperature by using hand calculations. Then a simplified FEA was run to verify that it matched the hand calculations.

Step two was to source heater elements that match the power requirements found in the hand and FEA calculations from the previous steps. The final step was to determine a control circuit to keep the surface temperature of the plate as constant as possible, meeting the FDA requirements for safe holding temperatures.

Services Performed:
Concepts, heat load FEA simulation, detail design, electronics, ServSafe food safety, product development, testing

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